View Poll Results: What would you do with $8,000 USD to burn?

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  • Invest it into a home cockpit

    10 76.92%
  • Get real-life flying lessons and obtain PPL

    3 23.08%
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  1. #1
    150+ Forum Groupie HondaCop's Avatar
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    If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    Hi guys, I was just wondering the other day, if it would be better to just get a Private Pilot's license or invest that money into a well built home cockpit.

    My question is...

    If you had $8,000 USD (which is in average what it would cost for a PPL in the US) burning a hole in your pocket, what would you do?

    1. Invest it all into a home cockpit
    2. Get real-life lessons and obtain your PPL

    I would like to see what sort of debate this stirs as far as pros and cons for each option.

    Personally, I am more inclined towards option 1.
    Regards,

    Efrain "E" Ruiz (HondaCop)
    LiveDISPATCH @ http://www.livedispatch.org

  2. #2
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    Neil Hewitt's Avatar
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    Well, while getting your PPL would of course be awesome, you'd be stuck with the fact that once you'd spent the $8K and obtained it, you'd be out of money to actually do any more flying. Whereas if you'd spend it on a decent sim, you could get as much flight time in as you'd like.

    Obviously real flight is better than simulated flight - mostly, at least - but if I had to make the absolute choice as to one or the other I'd go for simulated flight. Personally, I have nowhere near enough capital to be able to own or even rent a plane of any kind. I can afford to spend a few £K on a sim, though. Let's face it, private flight is a pretty expensive business - certainly much more so than owning and running a car.

    I suspect a few here would be able to have their cake and eat it - either flying for a living or being able to get in private flying time, alongside building a sim.

    I'd quite like to own a full-on, Level D airliner sim. If I had the enormous space to house it, the several million to buy it, and the hundreds of thousands more to operate it, I'd probably do that

    NH

  3. #3
    150+ Forum Groupie HondaCop's Avatar
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by neilh View Post
    Well, while getting your PPL would of course be awesome, you'd be stuck with the fact that once you'd spent the $8K and obtained it, you'd be out of money to actually do any more flying. Whereas if you'd spend it on a decent sim, you could get as much flight time in as you'd like.

    Obviously real flight is better than simulated flight - mostly, at least - but if I had to make the absolute choice as to one or the other I'd go for simulated flight. Personally, I have nowhere near enough capital to be able to own or even rent a plane of any kind. I can afford to spend a few £K on a sim, though. Let's face it, private flight is a pretty expensive business - certainly much more so than owning and running a car.

    I suspect a few here would be able to have their cake and eat it - either flying for a living or being able to get in private flying time, alongside building a sim.

    I'd quite like to own a full-on, Level D airliner sim. If I had the enormous space to house it, the several million to buy it, and the hundreds of thousands more to operate it, I'd probably do that

    NH
    Hi NH, yes, I tend to think like you. I have asked this question myself a ton of times and I always end up saying the same thing you just said. With a home cockpit, you get to fly anytime and without the added expense of perhaps renting a plane, fueling, FBO fees, etc etc.
    Regards,

    Efrain "E" Ruiz (HondaCop)
    LiveDISPATCH @ http://www.livedispatch.org

  4. #4
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    I got the PPL back in college (a few $$ cheaper back then), but doing both now, finishing up my instrument and building a sim. If I had to choose, I would choose real world flying. I enjoy it much more and in the end I want to get my CFI and CFII so I can instruct part time when I'm finally retired (though with 6 kids that doesn't seem like it will ever happen)

  5. #5
    150+ Forum Groupie HondaCop's Avatar
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by jskibo View Post
    (though with 6 kids that doesn't seem like it will ever happen)
    LOL

    The department I work for, does have an Aviation Unit, with a couple of Cessna 172s and a Cessna 182 I believe. If I can put in for it and get chosen, the department pays for EVERYTHING up to the Commercial Pilot's License and Instrument rating... Now that would be awesome and save me a TON!
    Regards,

    Efrain "E" Ruiz (HondaCop)
    LiveDISPATCH @ http://www.livedispatch.org

  6. #6
    500+ This must be a daytime job 737NUT's Avatar
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    I have my PPL and have also built a couple of sims. It is doable on a modest income but sacrifices must be made on the sim. You can't beat the real deal! Get your PPL and build a less complicated sim to fly on the down days. You won't regret it! It cost me 6K for my PPL. Join a flying clib for a much cheaper flying cost than renting from an FBO.
    Rob

  7. #7
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    If you want your PPL and can scrape up the money without hurting your family, then DO IT! You won't regret it.

    Some advice from my own experience:
    Build enough of a simulator to allow you to practice your procedures. The sim doesn't need to be a perfect replica, as chances are good that you won't train exclusively in a single aircraft, and each aircraft is a little different.

    Even if your "switches" are nothing more than labeled binder clips on a drawer edge, use them.

    Practice your procedures and navigation as if you were really flying. Use a real paper map.

    Practice your communication, even though you don't get a real response.

    When you've got a cross-country flight coming up, practice it beforehand. You may be surprised at the sudden overload of things to do at a waypoint; if you've practiced, it won't be so overwhelming. (Tip: Use the lull between waypoints to set up your nav and comm frequencies and heading pips for your next leg)

    Practice your straight-in approaches. Trim for approach speed, then forget that the trim wheel even exists. Stay on glideslope with the throttle.

    Practice your landing patterns and in-pattern procedures. Don't beat yourself up if your base-to-final turn is a bit off in the sim, that's tough to get right when your view is so limited. Pay more attention to your speeds and power settings, and try to get these bang-on.


    When you're actually flying:
    If you can, train at an airport that's not too far from a clear-airspace practice area. I spent about half my $time$ flying to and from the practice areas.
    If you can't do that, ask your instructor for some under-the-hood instrument navigation training on the way to the practice area.

    Keep in mind that the sim will not handle exactly like the real thing, and will most definitely not feel like the real thing.

    Do your scan, but don't bury yourself in the cockpit. VFR navigation often references real-world landmarks, there's real traffic sometimes flown by other inexperienced pilots, and too much focus on the panel can induce vertigo.

    Your sense of balance will lie to you. Trust your instruments.
    Real instruments can fail. Constantly cross-check.

    Remember, WHEN things get hairy, do the following, IN THIS ORDER:
    Aviate (fly the plane - get it under control and keep it under control)
    Navigate (return to your intended airspeed, altitude, heading)
    Communicate (Talk to controllers, other traffic, passengers)


    I'm sure I've missed a lot.
    Best of luck to you!

  8. #8
    150+ Forum Groupie WJH308's Avatar
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    All good advice, I have my Commercial SEL, and MEL with instrument ratings. Also my CFI, CFII, and MEI. One checkride away from my ATP.
    I went to ATP when they had a sale going on back in 2007. Don't regret it but it was not easy for some one who dedicated most of their life to aviation.
    Worked as a flight instructor for 2 years, 6 days a week to the point of mental exhaustion then went to a part 135 operator flying in a single pilot IFR environment.
    I now have an interview for a Fed Ex feeder operator flying a 208B Grand cargo master.
    Flight sim or the real thing? At this point, if the flying was not a source of income, I would be perfectly happy having a really kick *** home cockpit, and once in a while renting a C172 to fly for fun.

    I say you need to do both. Don't sink a lot of money into the sim yet, do it slowly. The PPL however, I say you save up to 10,000$ and finish it quickly as possible. Don't do it here and there, that will end up costing you more money, especially if your CFI goes off to the airlines.
    Like I said though, at this point in the game, I have to do aviation for the paycheck. I play Flight sim to keep my instrument skills sharp. The simulator is much better than the real thing for training in instruments.
    Oh and one more thing, if you don't want to die, also get your instrument rating RIGHT AFTER you finish the PPL. They should really be taught together.

  9. #9
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    Actually, I believe you need to think outside the box. Take the $8K get the PPL and rent a plane to fly to different homes of guys who have sims. Almost everyone would let you fly it or with them for free. You would have the real pilot skills over those who didn't get a PPL or other type license, and here is the kicker, most guys who have sims are flying alone. You can bet bottom dollar they'd be happen to fly with you!

    Heck, here I go giving good ideas, you could be paid money from the Sim Only guys to just visit them and help them learn, as well as be a co-pilot. Imagine you bouncing all around to spend a few hours here or there to do that. I know I would pay...uh, donate to your cause...

    Wouldn't it be a neat idea to have a registry of homecockpit owners who would be willing to do something like that?

    BSD

  10. #10
    150+ Forum Groupie WJH308's Avatar
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    Re: If you had $8,000 USD to burn?

    ? Well I could be doing that right now, anyone in California that wants me to visit them and their home cockpit setup?
    Plane rental costs 125$ an hour, you'll have to split the cost with me going both ways to keep it legal. Some schools have a minimum rental rate of 4 hours a day..
    Oh and I can sit next to you with my real skills for you to find out that my real pilot skills that I get outside the home cockpit do not translate to inside the home cockpit. Oh and since I am a flight instructor, if you want me to teach you instruments, thats another 50$ an hour on top of the other costs, since VFR PPL flying really needs to be done in the real airplane and not the simulator, you'll get no benefit from the sim until you need to actually practice VOR's and NDB's.
    So with that said, we could fly the real airplane for your flight lessons, at which time you would be spending 125$ an hour for the airplane and another 50$ an hour for me. You'll need to be a US citizen and I will need to make copies of your ID and what not thanks to TSA.

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